Now that we know the issue of lust is prevalent when it comes to black men, I wanted to share three things that I’ve personally done to help in the quest to overcome lust (and I hope that they will help you):
1. Make a Covenant With Your Eyes
Job said something very interesting in Job 31. He stated: “I made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” (Job 31:1). Job made a covenant with his eyes. Eyes are symbolic of desire. They control the heart and will. Jesus put it this way: “The eye is the lamp of the body…” (Matthew 6:22). Therefore, the eyes, and being able to control them, are an integral part of our spiritual development.
What Job says in this text is surprising though. Back then, violation of (i.e. sleeping with) a young woman was a grave sin. Job took it a step further. He said, “I won’t even gonna go there. I refuse to even look, much less touch.” He went beyond the call of duty. For Job, a violation constituted even looking at another woman. Isn’t this precisely what Jesus called us to do, brothers? Every one of His “you have heard…but I say to you…” statements in Matthew 5 are meant to challenge us to go beyond what is necessary. Included in this is His statement about looking at women being adultery.
Jesus challenges us to be like Job. Go beyond what the world expects of you. “Look, but don’t touch” might be a good concept for people who are not committed to Christ. But He requires much more from us. This is the nature of the covenant Job made and is the nature of the covenant you can make. You want others to know that you’re different when it comes to the booty thing.
A covenant is a promise sealed between two or more parties especially for the performance of some action. So here’s what I have done personally. I made a promise with my eyes, sealed with the Holy Spirit, for performance of an action: refusing to look at a woman lustfully.
Legally, covenants are very serious matters. They are binding by law. Whenever I see a potential problem approaching (i.e. an attractive woman that is a prime candidate for the domino syndrome), I always hear a word in my spirit, “Remember the covenant.” The Holy Spirit seals it. Brothers, I challenge you to try to do same. God honors commitments made to Him. Challenge yourself. Make a covenant with your eyes. Allow the Spirit of God to begin to speak to you whenever temptation to look arises. Yeah, you might slip a few times, but that “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12) will become more and more clear—”Remember the covenant.”
2. Capture Every Thought
Men’s problems always start with a thought process. I wonder what it would be like or Goodness, what I would do with that. Real talk: men think about that—a lot. The Bible declares that believers have a weapon against this, and a weapon is used in “[destroying] arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and [taking] every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
When you bring something into captivity, you lock it up. Sometimes men like to let their thoughts run away with them. Have you ever had a muscle to lock up on you in the middle of the night and wake you up? Doesn’t it hurt?! Those midnight cramps make grown men scream like little girls. The same thing happens when you fight the urge to look. For some men, it’s going to hurt to fight the thought or urge, because we want to see where things go. But, in that discomfort God is trying to “wake you up” in the middle of your “night” and let you realize that this behavior is not godly.
All those thoughts exalt themselves against knowing Christ. Anything that exalts itself against knowing Christ is called idolatry. So not only is a man who does not check such action an adulterer, but he’s also an idolater. Question: Do you worship the booty? Does Christ come second to looking at a piece of flesh for a half second of carnal pleasure? I challenge you today to begin to capture those thoughts and force them to be brought into the obedience of Christ.
3. Refuse To Go “There”
This is something very practical. I have a firm belief that men often are aware of the temptation before it even happens. If you know you have this issue, why would you find yourself in a strip club or on a website with scantly clad women? The issue becomes much more difficult to overcome in this situation. Also, if you are going to the grocery store with a mission to get eggs, why go down the baking aisle that you just saw an attractive woman go down? You didn’t even come in that store for baking goods. Don’t go there! There’s no need to. The best preventative measure is having this kind of mentality. There’s less struggle when there’s less temptation. Try your best on a daily basis to cut out all the forms of temptation that you can avoid yourself. This lightens the temptation “load” and allows you to overcome the issue faster.
I hope that these have helped somebody. Listen men, I’m not saying I don’t recognize women for their beauty. In fact, the first time I saw my wife… boy, boy, boy. I just don’t allow the spirit of lust to reign in my body. Scripture says that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). But how many men’s temple walls are filled with thoughts of naked women, fantasy sexual excursions, and pornographic material? The Holy Spirit doesn’t want to reside in that mess. He wants to take up residence in a real man who respect God’s creation: women. Who will be a real man and stand up and break the curse? I know I will. Will you, man of God?